Service Leadership: Transforming Teams and Impacting Lives
We’ve all encountered extraordinary service in various forms—a seamless hotel check-in, an unforgettable dining experience, a charismatic bartender, or that one exceptional call center representative who turned a potential crisis into a solution. Regardless of the context, the effects of exceptional service linger, leaving us with a profound sense of welcome and appreciation.
Appreciation, as an emotion, forms the core of these experiences. The emotional connections forged during these moments become stories worth sharing and feelings we yearn to relive, driving us to take action.
When you serve your team, working tirelessly to help them grow, succeed, and find fulfillment, they’ll reciprocate with appreciation. This appreciation fuels their commitment and dedication.
A simple act of service has the power to transform the dynamics, infusing meaning and purpose into even the most mundane tasks. By leading with hospitality, you create an environment where team members feel valued and welcomed.
Here are four ways to serve your team, peers, leaders, customers, and clients:
1 – Listen
To serve effectively, you must first understand the needs you’re addressing. Listening is the key to comprehending those needs. Listen to your intuition when something feels amiss, listen to your leaders for valuable feedback, and listen to your guests, customers, and clients to create a culture of service. Most importantly, listen to your team; your presence and willingness to help go a long way in building a foundation of trust.
2 – Educate
Look for teachable moments to invest in your team’s growth. Dedicate extra time to engage and educate them. Plant seeds of knowledge that will flourish into future successes. Your investment today will serve them for a lifetime.
3 – Take Action
Words without action are empty. Follow-up coaching sessions with specific action steps to propel your team forward. When you take action, you set an example that motivates and builds trust within your team.
4 – Deliver on Your Promise
As a leader, you’re responsible for the employee experience and the overall experience provided to guests, customers, and clients. Clear expectations drive performance, so communicate your expectations to your team. Additionally, have the humility to ask your team what they expect of you as their leader. Delivering on these expectations is a profound way to provide exceptional service and inspire others.
In the words of Michelle Obama, “Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” Service leadership is about making that difference and leaving a lasting impact on those you serve.
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